Chocolate Vertical Layer Cake

This Chocolate Vertical Layer Cake is one of the most decadent cakes I’ve made, with a great symphony of flavors and textures. The cake is a perfect combination of moist chocolate sponge cake, apricot jam, mascarpone coffee frosting, and a crunchy, buttery biscuit base. It’s coated in a creamy mascarpone frosting, topped with chocolate ganache, and decorated with chocolate shards.

The combination of coffee, chocolate, and apricots is a match made in heaven. The bitterness of the coffee and the richness of the chocolate are perfectly balanced with the sweet and tangy apricots. But what takes this cake to the next level is the addition of the almond, buttery chocolate biscuit. The crunchiness of the biscuit provides a satisfying contrast to the softness of the sponge cake and the creaminess of the frosting. All of these elements come together to create a cake that’s both flavorful and texturally satisfying.

The cake’s vertical layers give it a unique and impressive appearance that’s sure to impress your guests and it is also very delicate and flavorful. However, don’t be intimidated by its appearance, as it’s actually quite easy to make. In this section, we’ll guide you through the steps to make a vertical layer cake.

How to make a vertical layer cake

To make the chocolate vertical layer cake, start by preparing the chocolate sponge cake on two different baking sheets. Once baked and cooled, trim the edges and cut each cake into three equal vertical strips. Spread a thin layer of peach or apricot jam evenly over each strip, followed by a layer of frosting. Carefully roll the first strip of cake and then continue rolling the second strip around it until all six strips have been used, creating a spiral shape. Refrigerate the cake for approximately one hour to allow it to set.

Next, place a previously baked chocolate biscuit onto a serving platter and spread a small amount of frosting over the top. Carefully place the rolled cake on top of the biscuit and cover the entire cake with the remaining frosting. Use a spatula to smooth the edges and top of the cake.

To finish, pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake and decorate it with chocolate shards. Allow the ganache to set before serving and enjoy your delicious chocolate vertical layer cake.

This cake is a masterpiece that is sure to impress anyone with a sweet tooth. The harmonious blend of flavors and textures makes it a dessert that you’ll want to savor with every bite. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a decadent treat, this cake is a perfect choice. With its stunning appearance and incredible taste, it’s no wonder why the chocolate vertical layer cake has become a dessert that everyone loves.

Hope you will try this Chocolate Vertical Layer Cake. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you do as I love seeing how it turns out for you. Enjoy!

Other chocolate layer cakes you may like to try

One of the best chocolate layer cakes is this Double Chocolate Layer Cake, a chocolate lover’s dream come true. It consists of three layers of rich, moist chocolate cake filled with silky cream cheese and chocolate frosting.

This Chocolate Strawberry Coffee Layer Cake is another layer cake you may like to try. With chocolate and coffee in perfect harmony and along with a sweet, subtle strawberry jam, this tastes like the richest and most moist cake, perfect for a friend’s gathering.

This Chocolate Raspberry Cake combines two classic favorites into one mouthwatering dessert. It consists of moist chocolate cake layers that are filled with raspberries and creamy chocolate ganache.

This Chocolate Layer Cake is another elegant and decadent chocolate dessert you may like to try. It is one of the best chocolate cakes ever.

Chocolate Vertical Layer Cake Slice

Walnut Caramel Mirror Cake
Blueberry Lemon Cake
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chocolate vertical layer cake with Mascarpone and coffee frosting

Chocolate Vertical Layer Cake

4.75 from 4 votes
This Chocolate Vertical Layer Cake is one of the most decadent cakes I’ve made, with a great symphony of flavors and textures. The cake is a perfect combination of moist chocolate sponge cake, apricot jam, mascarpone coffee frosting, and a crunchy, buttery biscuit base. It's coated in a creamy mascarpone frosting, topped with chocolate ganache, and decorated with chocolate shards.
Servings 14 servings
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes


Chocolate Biscuit

  • 1/4 cup (55g) butter , chilled
  • 1/2 cup (50g) ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp (30g) brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (40g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp (12g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp (5ml) water

Chocolate Sponge

  • 8 eggs , separated
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar , divided
  • 1 tsp (5g) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (60g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) salt

Jam for filling

  • 6 tbsp (120g) apricot/peach jam

Mascarpone Frosting

  • 1 pound (500g) Mascarpone cheese , room temperature
  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 1 ⅔ cup (400g) whipping cream (35% fat) , chilled
  • 1 tsp (5g) vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp (3g) instant coffee powder

Chocolate Ganache

  • 3.5 oz (100g) semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (120g) whipping cream

Chocolate Shards

  • 2 oz (60g) semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp (20g) semisweet chocolate , for tempering
  • 1 ½ tbsp (15g) white chocolate
  • 1/2 tbsp (5g) white chocolate , for tempering


Prepare the chocolate biscuit dough.

  • In a large bowl combine flour with sugar, almonds, cocoa powder, and salt. Incorporate chilled butter into the flour mixture, using a pastry blender, a fork, or a pastry processor, until crumbs are formed. Add water and stir until incorporated. Wrap it with plastic, shape it into a disc, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap until it's about 8 1/2 inches (21cm) in diameter.
  • Use an 8-inch (20 cm) ring to cut a circle. Remove the excess dough.  Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Prick the circle of dough with a fork and bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow cooling completely.

Prepare chocolate sponge.

  • Grease and line with parchment paper two 12×16 inch (30x40cm) baking sheets. Set aside.
  • Separate egg whites from yolks. Add ¾ cup (150g) sugar over the yolks and mix until creamy. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
  • In a medium bowl whisk flour with cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and incorporate into the yolk mixture.
  • Whip whites until foamy. Gradually add ¼ cup (50g) sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
  • Gently and gradually fold the whites into the yolk mixture.
  • Divide batter evenly into the prepared baking sheets. Spread the batter evenly and bake for about 10-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar. This helps the sponge cake not stick. Flip the cake over the paper. Remove the parchment paper it was baked with. Let cool completely.

Prepare the Mascarpone coffee frosting.

  • In a large bowl mix Mascarpone until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and coffee and mix until incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl whip cream until stiff peaks form. Gradually incorporate into Mascarpone mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble the cake.

  • Trim the edges of the chocolate sponge. Cut each vertically into three equal strips.
  • Spread evenly a thin layer of peach/apricot jam,  about 1 tbsp (20g) of jam for each strip.
  • Spread a thin layer of frosting onto each strip.
  • Roll the first strip of cake. Roll the first strip into the second sponge strip. Continue rolling into a spiral until all strips of sponge are used. Refrigerate for about 1 hour to set.
  • Place the cooled biscuit onto a serving platter. Spread a bit of frosting. Add the rolled cake on top. Cover with remaining frosting. Smooth the edge and top of the cake.
  • Use a 1M star tip to pipe frosting around the bottom of the cake.
  • Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour or overnight.

Prepare chocolate ganache

  • Place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan with simmering water. Melt over low heat.
  • Use a spoon and start making drips around the edges. If the ganache hardened too much heat it a bit over a bain-marie to get to a pouring consistency. When you finish all the drips on the edges fill the top with ganache and spread it evenly using the offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before decorating.

Prepare the chocolate shards.

  • Melt 2 oz (60g) semisweet chocolate over a bain-marie. Remove from heat and add 2 tbsp (20g) chopped semisweet chocolate for tempering. Stir until melted.
  • Spread chocolate evenly into about  9 x 6 inch (23x15cm) rectangle on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • Melt 1 ½ tbsp (15g) white chocolate over a bain-marie. Remove from heat and add ½ tbsp (5g) white chocolate, for tempering.
  • Drizzle with white chocolate on top of the dark chocolate.
  • Refrigerate to set.
  • Cut with a sharp knife into different shapes. Refrigerate until ready to decorate the cake.
  • Before serving decorate the cake with chocolate shards by pressing each shard into the icing. Enjoy!



Serving: 1gCalories: 461kcalCarbohydrates: 49.2gProtein: 10.9gFat: 27.2gSaturated Fat: 15.2gCholesterol: 162mgSugar: 35.2g
Calories: 461kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate biscuit, chocolate drips, chocolate shards, chocolate vertical layer cake, layer cake, mascarpone frosting, vertical layer cake

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @homecookingadventure on Instagram and hashtag it #homecookingadventure.

Join the Conversation

  1. Siobhan Mendes Author says:

    In the sponge part you havnt mentioned about the baking powder. (I found out the hard way)
    Super cool cake anyway!!! Thank you for such great recipes!!

  2. krys Author says:

    Hi Ella,
    Can I make it as an usual cake? Is it ok to use the same quantities?

  3. This was the first of the recipes from you that I have tried, and I am a non-baker. Everything else I have previous made including packet mixes will fail miserably. However, people couldn’t believe that I made this cake. It turned out beautifully. Thank you for sharing your lovely recipes with us.

  4. Rebecca Author says:

    I made this gorgeous cake for Easter and it came out beautifully.
    I tweaked it a bit, instead of apricot jam I used chocolate spread and I also added a good helping of Baileys in the frosting.
    Your recipes are all so amazing! Think I’ve done 6 different once so far.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. My mascarpone split and, while looking for ways to salvage it, I saw many tips saying always keep it as cold as possible to prevent splitting. Is it important that the mascarpone be room temp for this recipe?

    1. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Next time try not to mix it too much.. mascarpone doesn’t like overmixing. You can try using it a bit more chilled if you like.

  6. 5 stars
    Hello, can i make the same frosting but chocolat? if so how can i do it? thank you

    1. Ella Marincus-HomeCookingAdventure Author says:

      Hello, you can use the chocolate frosting I’ve made here

  7. Me encantan todas tus recetas, mil gracis

  8. Firdaus Rahman says:

    5 stars
    Super duper cake. Looked amazing and tasted super as well. Thanks

    1. Ella - Home Cooking Adventure Author says:

      So glad you enjoyed it 🙂 It is one of my favorite flavor combinations.

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